Here at the National Adoption Center, we’ve been following closely the recent events in Haiti. While we are encouraged by the seemingly limitless number of people who want to adopt these “earthquake orphans”, we are equally aware that there are nearly one-half million children and youth in our own nation’s foster care system that also want and deserve a family. Many of these children have been in care, waiting two years or more years for a permanate home. We hope this tragedy will encourage more people to open their homes to children in need. And we hope many prospective parents will look within our own borders to create their forever families. 

This month, I am adding a new child to my Wendy’s Wonderful Kids caseload. He will be the youngest child in my program by far; Camron is only 4 years old. Though he is so young, Camron has been waiting to find a Forever Family for over a year. Sadly, he is the victim of shaken baby syndrome. Because of this, Camron has many special medical needs, which have made it difficult to find the right family for this endearing little boy. 

Camron is a happy child who greatly enjoys being the center of attention! One of his favorite activities is playing with others. Camron has limited vision and is unable to talk. However, he does speak his own language, especially when excited or happy in his surroundings. The most effective method of communication with him is through touch. Thus, Camron is happiest in water and outdoors. Vibrant and content, he is the most “chatty” when camping outside. At home, when not playing, Camron is normally quiet in his crib. Camron loves to snuggle and greatly enjoys attention. He loves interacting with others, especially when people gently "rough play" with him.

Camron is wheelchair bound and receives a lot of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. He also works with a deaf/blind teacher. He is starting to use touch cues to help him prepare for things being done to him (for example, hands together means he wants to play with a ball), though he is still limited in his sight tracking.

It will be hard work to find the right family for him, but his Delaware social worker and I have decided that this is the year to find Camron his home! We are ready to work hard to find his Forever Family. If you have experience with special needs children and are looking to adopt, you may be the right parent for him! I know the right family is out there for Camron; one who is ready to give him all of the love and attention he deserves. 

For more information about Camron contact me, Amy Cressman, at 215-735-9988 ext. 31. You can also email me at

Americans frustrated by the usual lengthy wait of at least 18 months to bring their adopted children home from Haiti have been given a helping hand by the United States government.

On January 18, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the U.S. Department of State announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned Haitian children to enter the U.S. temporarily on an case-by-case basis, to ensure that they receive the care they need. The policy applies to children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens or who have been matched to prospective adoptive parents who are U.S. citizens.

Tens of thousands of Haitian children have been orphaned by the devastation. Even before the quake, there were 380,000 orphaned children in Haiti, according the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Stirred by the plight of these children, Americans throughout the country have responded with an outpouring of offers to take them into their homes. In Pennsylvania alone, in the two days after Governor Ed Rendall brought 53 orphans from Port-au-Prince to Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Department of Human Services received 430 phone calls from people wanting to become adoptive or foster parents for them. In Philadelphia, over 300 such calls have come in to the National Adoption Center since the airlift from Haiti.

The National Adoption Center applauds those who want to open their homes and hearts to these deserving youngsters. However, we hope families keep in mind that there are other children who are also deserving of a loving family—the 130,000 children across the country in foster care waiting for permanent homes. Sixteen hundred of them are in the Delaware Valley.

For a free information packet regarding adopting children from the foster care system, call 215-735-9988, or visit the website at

This is the most recent information we have on the children in Haiti whose lives have been upended by the devastating earthquake that hit that country. For some children—several hundred—adoptions were in the works at the time of the earthquake. The safety of those children is in question, and efforts are being made to locate the paperwork associated with their adoptions. 

A group of 53 children was brought to Pittsburgh, PA. by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell. They had been living in a Haitian orphanage run by two sisters, formerly from Pittsburgh. The children are now in custody of the Allegheny County Children and Youth Services and will be placed in foster homes after they leave Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital where they were taken from the airport.

Most of those children already have adoption plans in place. For the others, it will take considerable time to learn whether or not they have family alive in Haiti and whether they will eventually be available to be adopted. If they are to be adopted, prospective adoptive parents will need home studies which can be conducted by a licensed adoption agency. 

Contact us for additional information or you may contact the Allegheny County Children and Youth Services—412-473-2000 or Three Rivers Adoption Council—412-471-8722 or Media may contact Gloria Hochman at 215-588-0506.

Each year thousands of Americans seeking to add to their families by adoption look overseas to fulfill their desires. However, this route is becoming increasingly difficult. In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, foreign adoptions were down by more than a quarter from the previous year.

China, the major source of foreign adoptions by Americans, is more and more focusing on domestic adoptions and has imposed stringent requirements for people outside the country. Russia, too, is promoting adoption at home. Guatemala has closed its borders to foreign adoption while reforms to the system are being made and it is not certain when Americans can again adopt from the country.

Hopefully, Americans thwarted in their efforts to adopt internationally will look homeward to the 130,000 children in the United States now languishing in foster care waiting to find “forever” homes. 1600 of them are in the Delaware Valley.

These are usually not infants and many families may be reluctant to take on the care and raising of children whose ideas and attitudes have already been formed. The majority of these children are school age and many of them are teens. However, they desire and deserve the same kind of attention and love showered on infants or younger children. Some of them are siblings who need to be adopted together.

Adoptive parents do not need to have a specific income and they do not need to own their own homes. Many of the children are eligible for financial subsidy. Please contact us if you would like more information about adopting children out of the foster care system. Call today for a free packet of information, 215-735-9988 or visit us at


Adoption and the AdoptionCenter have no better friend then Wendy’s. And there’s no better way to show your support of Adoption then by stopping by your nearest Philadelphia-area Wendy’s location and purchasing a Frosty Key Tag for $1.00. Then show your key tag and get a free Junior Frosty with any purchase for all of 2010. Proceeds benefit theAdoption Center and will help us match more vulnerable children with their forever families then ever before! Thank you Wendy’s! 

2009 has been a busy year at the Center. We've had multiple match parties, with great kids and potential parents in three different states! We've had Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child tapings most weeks. These feature Vai Sikahema of NBC-10 interviewing and usually playing alongside one of our youths waiting for a permanent home. We built and launched a new website to support this thriving, national program.

We also launched AdoptMatch, our online matching program that brings families together with the adoption agency appropriate for them. Mainly regional to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, in 2010 we will roll this out across the country., our online community, is also a thriving place to get and share information and support regarding adoption. Thanks so much for all those who contribute to the conversations there! We also wanted to thank all of our readers and contributers for a fun year of blogging.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season! See you in 2010! 

Jowelle doesn’t know it yet, but later this week she is going to receive an Ipod Nano, itunes giftcard, earrings and bracelets for Christmas. She is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kid, and will be getting these gifts from a local Wendy’s franchise owner who decided to help give our kids a great Christmas. With the help of very generous Wendy’s owners in the area, every child on our Delaware and Southern New Jersey caseload is going to receive presents for Christmas.

I can’t stop smiling when I deliver these presents to the children, who are all very excited to get exactly what they asked for on their Christmas list. While it is fun to see the children opening their presents, it also makes me sad to realize that this is the 2nd year Jowelle is getting gifts for being a part of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s program. That means a whole year has gone by with Jowelle in the foster care system just waiting to be adopted. Jowelle is an amazing teenager who deserves to spend her next Christmas with her Forever Family, rather than in a foster home.


Next year I hope there will be a whole new set of children to buy presents for. Hopefully, all of our current children will have found their new permanent families and will be spending their first Christmas together. If you would like to be a Forever Family for any of our Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s, please contact me at or call 215-735-9988 ext. 319. Happy Holidays to everyone and have a good New Year!

Another plug for the 11th annual “A Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill” will air Wednesday, December 23 at 8 PM n CBS. The entertainment special will feature celebrities and inspirational stories about foster care adoption. The program is presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network.

Thomas, who was adopted, established the Dave Thomas Foundation in 1992. It is dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 129,000 children in North America's foster care systems waiting for permanent, loving homes. Through the Foundation’s Wendy's Wonderful Kids (WWK) program, recruiters are working for children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and throughout Canada. The Adoption Center of Delaware Valley is a WWK agency in the Philadelphia region.

The Children’s Action Network was founded in 1990 by leaders in the entertainment industry committed to using the power of the media to inform the public about the needs of children and to make children a top priority in American life.

The special will include moving performances by five-time Grammy Award winner and Academy of Country Music (ACM) Award winner Faith Hill, who headlines for the second time, Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, musician and featured adoptee Michael Franti, Grammy and ACM Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire, Grammy Award-winning Latin pop singer Shakira and Grammy and ACM Award-winning star Carrie Underwood, among others. Jenna Elfman ("Accidentally on Purpose") and Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") are among the celebrities presenting inspirational stories about adoption.

Jenna Elfman, Nia Vardalos and other celebrities whose lives have been touched by adoption or who are involved with children’s issues, will present story segments about adoptive families. 

We have found that a large part of what we do is public awareness. Letting people know that there are children waiting for permanent homes in foster care. Letting people know that these children are just children like any others, deserving of love and a family. We have done this for over 30 years through newspaper articles, television, radio broadcasts and websites. Now we are proud to have ventured into mobile communications with an iPhone App. This is a freely available app and can be found through the App Store or click here.

The main goal is to raise public awareness about our mission: there are no unwanted children, just unfound families. We hope to draw more people to our resources, such as our photolistings, our course on adoption from foster care and our forum, Overall, we want to find families for all of the children currently waiting for a place to call home.